by Paula Manuel Staff Nurse Interest Group

Where Have You Been?

Spring was my last entry and on the road of good intentions regular blog entries did not occur for a number of reasons.  Last fall a new phase in my professional life captured my attention the realm of management and applying leadership principles even more formally.  From an interim status to an offer of a permanent position, I have transitioned from an hourly employee to a salaried, extended coverage, by virtue of responsibilities and accountabilities in my portfolio, honest to goodness manager of close to 70 souls and overview of a unit and program of close to 40 beds and a blood collection team.

I am grateful to my mentors for supporting me in my transition, there has been plenty of occassions  to apply my knowledge, skill, and judgment and to reap the benefits of investing time and monies pursuing further education, participating in committees, engaging in leadership opportunities, project work and enhancing networking skills to name a few.  In my matrix of knowledge and skills are the cumulative experiences of trials and tribulations, overcoming adversity, enhancing my healer abilities, as all those experiences have added dimensions of authenticity, credibility, vision, honour and integrity.  Rather necessary and key characteristics in this modern age of leadership, make that excellence in leadership.  Truly it is in the everyday tasks, conversations, modeling of behaviour, managing performance, being fair and consistent that transforms a team, and as necessary transformative moments.  Of course it also includes responding to grievances, recognize who are engaged and who on the team are to be blunt “deadwood”

Right now I am on a well earned vacation (boldly scheduded two weeks off) and here in the middle of the night answered the call to reconnect to this blog.  It helps to be here on the Bruce Peninsula, one of those divine places here on Earth where rocks, water, sky combine into an energy matrix of sorts that restores mind, body, and soul.  As a manager who also carries the framework of a nurse I am in need of a recharge to the energy reserves, yes this girl is one tired actualized being.

All things considered I enjoy my new position, on any given day I balance an array of demands that cover the intricacies of scheduling and payroll, managing budget concerns, to responding to family concerns, to building relationships among the Allied Health team, to inspiring young nurses to strive for excellence in practice, and to be a mentor to established staff such as my valued unit leader who capably handles the daily operations of our busy general medicine unit.  Add in the organizational priorities, covering for colleagues, quality management and the looming demands of accreditation and the workload is huge. 

A few key points; patient acuity and complexity are givens, they have vulnerabilities and the reality is so many hospitalized patients are increasingly in a more terminal phase of their lives rather than a curative path. Meaning there is a definitive need to clarify goals of care, appreciating indivdual needs and balancing what is possible, what is ethical, what is efficent and effective care….well that will need to wait right now I need some shut eye as my vacation is the priority right now.  Work and life are not easy to balance when one is committed to making a difference–as I am not perfect and a work in progress thank goodness I have a lifetime of experiences to draw from.

Namaste

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by Paula Manuel Staff Nurse Interest Group

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